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The greatest climate change battlefield in the US may not be Congress and the White House, but the nation's more than 17,000 elected school boards and the classrooms they run. Disputes over local curriculum make fewer headlines, but those decisions shape the generations that will be most affected by climate change—the citizens (and voters) who will have to respond to climate change. As the National Research Council explained in a framework for new, national science standards, "Though the magnitudes of humans’ impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are humans’ abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts. … [S]cience and engineering will be essential both to understanding the possible impacts of global climate change and to informing decisions about how to slow its rate and consequences—for humanity as well as for the rest of the planet."

Here are a few of the ways climate change education has come under attack:

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The bulk of this is duplicative, but I've added some commentary below the fold. Following days of rumors, Mark Parkinson, once chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, switched his party registration at noon today.  

The Governor will be kicking off her campaign for re-election tomorrow, and introducing her new candiher new candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Parkinson joins Democratic candidate for Attorney General Paul Morrison as major party switchers.  Morrison has been the Republican District Attorney for Johnson County for many years. Parkinson is also from Johnson County, the wealthy base of powerful moderate Republicans in Kansas.  

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I spoke with Congressman Dennis Moore about the current state of laws regulating political action on blogs, and his office sent me his official statement.  He voted against HR 1606 when it came up for a vote.  In talking with him, he made clear specifically that he backs the media exemption for blogs, and his comments below the fold suggest that he wouldn't currently back new regulations.

His full statement is below the fold.

An account of our earlier meeting is at Thoughts from Kansas.

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I had a chance to chat with candidate Nancy Boyda, and I saw the face of a new Democratic Party.  She ran a campaign in the Kansas 2nd in 2004, based on Washington consultants whose advice was not to say anything that might offend anybody.  This year, they aren't invited.  She told me "Their idea - that we win in red states by pulling our message into the center - basically translates: 'if you don't offend anyone, they might vote for you.'  ... Democrats have a lot of things to say.  We don't need to be mean-spirited about it, we don't need to lie, we don't need to emulate the Republicans in that manner, but we need to be bolder.  And I think there needs to be stronger leadership."

This year, she's forgoing the Washington advice and the insider endorsements.  She's taking her campaign to the streets, raising money from small donors and building her own organization right here.  No more wishy-washy DC consultants, no more risk-averse, one-size-fits-all campaigning.  She wants change, and that doesn't come by hiding your feelings.  More below or at Thoughts from Kansas.

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Kansas isn't easy for Democrats, our Congressional delegation has one Democrat, the legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, and party registration is even more Republican.  Many Democrats register as Republicans to vote in the Republican primary, the only race that matters.

But this year may change things.  Record crowds turned up at the annual meeting of the Party, and not just because Barack Obama was there to rally the troops.  We've got a strong Governor running for re-election, a strong candidate who abandoned the Republican party to run for Attorney General, and Democrats are ready to turn Kansas blue.

Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, as well as an interview with Congressman Dennis Moore, and more news and analysis below the fold, or at Thoughts from Kansas.

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Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:18 PM PST

The Kansas Project

by jrosenau

A bunch of Kansans are calling our do-nothing Senator Roberts to task.  As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he let us down by defending the President when he ought to be defending us.  Thoughts from Kansas has been getting current and former Kansans to write to their local papers, telling them what their concerns are and why they want their Senator to hold hearings on warrantless wiretapping.  Other Kansas bloggers from across the political spectrum are joining in, and bigger bloggers have been pushing us along.

Today's SurveyUSA poll gives me great hope.  Even as the state with the 8th highest number of people who think the program is legal, that's only 38%, and moderate Kansans are evenly split over it.  A quarter of Kansas are not clear on the program's legality, which means they are ready to listen to letters to the editor.

Read the extended entry for more on how to help.

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Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 04:24 PM PST

James Madison, 218 years ago today

by jrosenau

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controuls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this:  you must first enable the government to controul the governed; and in the next place oblige it to controul itself. A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary controul on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

That was Federalist 51, published Feb. 6 1788.  Exactly 218 years later, AG "Bind, Torture, Kill" Gonzales asked us to trust him, but gave us no reason to.  

More below or at Thoughts from Kansas.

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Wed Jan 25, 2006 at 04:03 PM PST

A case for an Alito filibuster

by jrosenau

I'm not sure whether I think an Alito filibuster is wise, but with a little tweaking, this post from Legal Fiction offers an excellent justification.

Publius argues that a filibuster probably wouldn't hurt anyone, because most people don't care about Alito.  He doesn't mention this Pew poll from earlier this month, but the fact that 48% of the public had no opinion on his confirmation and that a mere 14% were paying close attention to his hearings is evidence enough that there isn't a lot of political cost involved in making a fuss over Alito.

The fact that Americans aren't paying attention means they don't know about these things.  The fact that he justified a warrantless strip search of a 10 year old child should outrage people, but only if they know about it.

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Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 10:38 AM PST

Stopping 9/11

by jrosenau

Apparently, the head of NSA said yesterday that if we were tapping phones without warrants before 9/11, "we would have detected some of the 9/11 al-Qaeda operatives in the United States."

This is what we in the business call "revisionist history."  An NSA intercept lead the CIA to a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.  The CIA identified several people at the meeting, and followed several of them with varying competence.  They failed to ask the NSA to run the names of people through its database, which would have given better names, and running the names through the State Department would have revealed the fact that at least two people had visas to come to the US.

The CIA failed to pass on its information to the FBI, so when one of those men stayed with an FBI informant in LA, no one had thought to ask the informant to keep his eyes peeled.

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Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 10:48 AM PST

Fighting Dems vs. Lobbying Reps

by jrosenau

Ohio Republicans rally, invoke Martin Luther King, to images of Adolph Hitler:

In attendance were: Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O'Donnell of Cleveland; Medina Republican William Batchelder, who last fall resigned as a 9th District Court of Appeals judge to attempt a return to the state legislature; former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, a lobbyist who is planning another run for Congress this year; state Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, a candidate for attorney general; and Sandra O'Brien, a candidate for state treasurer.
The rally was also addressed by Ken Blackwell, currently the Secretary of State, who hopes to replace the scandal plagued Governor Taft.

The emphasis above is mine.  The Republicans apparently plan to counter the Fighting Dems with the Lobbying Reps.  Smart.


Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:22 PM PST

Democracy, America, War, and Peace

by jrosenau

When I was traveling in Europe over the holidays, it was almost impossible to avoid hearing American music or to see advertisements for American movies.  Cowboys boots are big in Europe.  Everyone speaks English with more of an American accent than a British accent.

I'm told that the same phenomena can be seen throughout Africa, in China, even in Iran (as I've discussed at my blog before).  These are areas which probably lead most people's sense of who our "enemies" are, but however much they resent American hegemony or disagree with our current leadership, America means something to them.

When you talk with people from Europe, here or there, you hear one story over and over.  A person who had been anti-America, disliked the spread of Coke, McDonalds and Starbucks across the nation, railed against our arrogance had finally visited the States.  He would travel, meet people, see the great cities and the stunning natural wonders.  And that visit would give a glimpse, however skewed, of what America is and can be.  That glimpse makes converts of many people.

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Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 02:36 PM PST

The Peeping Tom in Chief

by jrosenau

Bush defends his spying program:

Defending the program, Bush said in his address that it is used only to intercept the international communications of people inside the United States who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al- Qaida or related terrorist organizations.
Of course, once upon a time, the President claimed that there was a clear link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, a link which the best intelligence shows did not exist.

A borrowed comic and more are below the fold, or at Thoughts from Kansas.

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